LAS VEGAS — AiR TOUR — Issue 9
Art by Destiny Bailey
sM | How do you think this program, and this exhibit, fits into the artist community in Las Vegas?
DB ── There are so many artists in Las Vegas who’d love to even know about this opportunity, never mind actually experiencing it! I am one of them. Not many artists can say that they actually get paid for doing their craft; not many can say that they’ve sold a piece. This Artist-in-Residence program offers a platform for the creators, the inventors, the innovators. It supports anyone who wants even a chance to have their voices heard. It offers a space to just be. We need more spaces like this one that offers
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any artist an opportunity to get themselves out there. I believe that wholeheartedly.
sM | What have you accomplished in your residency?
DB ── Oh goodness, there are so many things I’ve done this month that I never thought I could. I talked to thousands of people as they came in and out of the exhibit, some staying long enough to hear my story and share their own stories about various subjects like their mental health struggles and artistic struggles. Through those experiences, I learned how to validate myself as an artist and let my voice be even louder than it has in the past. I sold quite a few pieces as well, to which I let every person who decided to support me know that they were “taking a piece of me with them.” I put my heart and my soul into every piece of art I create, and it’s beautiful knowing that there are people who see me.
sM | What is the one social issue that your art speaks to the most?
DB ── My art focuses on mental health struggles we all often go through. I personally struggle heavily with regulating my mental health, so therapy and having a healthy outlet have been extremely helpful. My pieces show where I am mentally at the time of creation. My emotions are usually spattered onto the canvas. Each stroke and colour choice tells a story. There’s a stigma around the mentally ill. Most of us shame ourselves and keep quiet about our struggles. Then there are the many obstacles around getting actual mental health care here in America that makes it almost impossible for the majority of the population to even attempt to get better.